A political activist escapes the prison van and is sheltered in a posh apartment owned by a sensitive young woman. Both are rebels: the activist against political treachery and the other on social level. Both are bitter about badly organized state of things. Being in solitary confinement, the fugitive engages himself in self-criticism and, in the process, questions the leadership. Questions are not allowed, obeying that is mandatory. Displeasure leads to bitterness, bitterness to total rift. The struggle has to continue, both for the political activist, now segregated, and the woman in exile. —mrinalsen.org
Mrinal Sen was born on May 14, 1923, in the town of Faridpur, now in Bangladesh. After finishing his high school there, he left home to come to Calcutta for studying physics. During his student days, he got involved with the cultural wing of the Communist party. Though he never became a member of the party, his association with the Indian Peoples Theatre Association brought him close to a number of like-minded cultural people.
His interest in films started after he stumbled upon a book on film aesthetics. However his interest remained mostly intellectual, and he was forced to take up a job of a medical representative, which took him away from Calcutta. This did not last very long, and he came back to the city and eventually took a job of an audio technician in a Calcutta film studio, which was the beginning of his film carrier.
Mrinal Sen made his first feature film in 1953, which he soon tried to forget. His next film, Neel Akasher Nichey (Under the Blue Sky), earned… read more
For all his criticism of Ray's passive political stance and perpetual doubt, it's remarkable how a lot of Padatik echoes Pratidwandi (with its belief further left of centre). Dhritiman as the young man in doubt - questioning both his politics and his personality. His relationship with Simi is not played out completely but there's enough there for the viewer to think of the possibilities.